Swim like a fish
1 – Zone3 Venture wetsuit – £250-450
A good wetsuit makes such a difference with your race times, enjoyment and comfort when swimming. When I did my first ever triathlon I was wearing a cold water surf wetsuit that was so thick I could hardly move my arms, it was like rolling the Michelin man into the water, on the up side I was very warm and would float.
I had timed it perfectly and I had done my triathlon at the end of the season so I managed to get a deal with my wetsuit. The Zone3 range of wetsuits are absolutely brilliant, the comfort and fit is second to non. There is so much tech that goes into the Zone3 wetsuits, from the thickness and material used on certain panels of the wetsuit to achieve the ultimate streamline effect and to allow a greater range of movement. Zone3 has an innovative silk fit inner lining to aid comfort against the skin, nano coating on the neoprene meaning there is almost no drag. The more money you spend the more tech you get but a good wetsuit is always worth investing in if you are going to be taking swimming seriously. I have stuck with Zone3 as they have delivered on everything that I wish for.
My top tip is to try and buy a wetsuit at the end of the season or look for a wetsuit that is ex display, making sure there is no holes. Plus always go into a shop and try one on so you get a decent fit.
2 – Zone 3 Neoprene heat tech bundle – £80
Aimed towards the cold water swimmer this bundle is a must have. Most of the triathlons I do now end up being on the more hard-core side of the spectrum, with swim being in the coldest lakes and seas possible, the bike and run routes taking in as much mountain and elevation as possible.
I find the psychology of the swim start very interesting. The races normally start in the cold early morning, so rocking up to the start line nice a toasty in your Zone3 wetsuit and neoprene heat tech gloves, booties and hat really is a blessing.
Some people are slightly bonkers and love taking on cold water swims in just a pair of speedos, I on the other hand would like to be comfortable. Losing a majority of your body heat when swimming through your head and extremities the Zone3 heat tech range stops this from happening. They are super comfy and fit very well. When wearing the gloves and boots you don’t feel like you are adding any more drag or weight to your self which was my initial fear. With insulated titanium lining you will not be feeling the cold and with Zone3’s innovative smoothskin closure and seal system there will be no water leaking into your gloves and booties.
Overall a great product range for anyone who sufferes with cold hands, feet and head when swimming.
3 – Classic speedo – £10 -15
In my personal opinion I think speedos get such bad flack. The original swimming trunk has been branded with such names as budgie smugglers, nut hut, banana hammock and that’s is just a few.
I think the speedo is the ultimate swimming accessories and they should be in any kit bag – maybe pair up the speedos with a towel if you are not confident with the look. They are perfect for when in the water and a great piece of kit to wear under your wetsuit. I have been caught in very precarious positions struggling to remove my wetsuit before with no speedos on underneath; I will leave the rest to your imagination.
The closest thing you will get to skinny dipping in a public pool during opening hours.
4 – Safety buoy – £20
When out swimming in open water or in areas where there is motorboats or other dangers you should be using a safety buoy.
A very non-obtrusive piece of equipment that will make you visible to anything in the area. They come in all different shapes and sizes but all are a bright orange colour so you can be seen from a distance.
I would say its worth spending £20 on a floating orange device instead of getting mowed over by a boat.
Safety first kids.
5 – Zoggs Predator flex – £18
Goggles seem to be one of those pieces of kit that you loose or struggle to find a pair that don’t leak or pinch you nose.
I went through so many goggles before I came across the Zoggs Predator Flex. They are the comfiest goggles I have ever worn and on the plus side they don’t leak. With their 4 point flex technology the goggles give you an unrivalled comfort across the bridge of your nose and around the eye socket.
I have worn these goggles for the last 2 years now, they are great value for money so I buy 1 or 2 pairs at a time just in case I leave them at the swimming pool or loose them in transition. With Zoggs patented Fogbuster lenses they do not fog or mist up when you are swimming and have great moisture control.
My go to goggles that are stoked in most stores so if you do loose a set they are easily replaceable. As I wear contact lenses it is great to have confidence when under water that the goggles will not be leaking and giving my eyes bother.